Health Matters

Is It Time for Assisted Living?

Posted by Amy Fitchett on Aug 27, 2018 1:44:00 PM

What is assisted living?

We know finding the right place for you or your loved one can be difficult. Many have questions about assisted living, retirement homes, hospice and the options available today. Assisted living is a form of long-term senior care that assists with meals, medication management, bathing, dressing and transportation.

How is care paid for at an assisted living facility?

Medicare does not typically cover the costs of assisted living expenses. Many assisted living facilities are private pay institutions. Many residents use long-term care insurance reimbursements combined with any available veteran benefits to offset the costs of assisted living.

Are there any admissions requirements?

Frequently and before admission, prospective residents are assessed by a trained, licensed staff member, taking into account the Virginia Universal Assessment Inventory (UAI) and discussions with your loved one and family members. A physical examination and record of tuberculosis (TB) screening or chest X-ray within 30 days of the date of admission are also required.  Many facilities have an admissions coordinator that handles all of the necessary medical documentation so you can focus on your loved one. 

Are other medical services offered?

Yes, as a convenience to our seniors and elders, primary care, dentistry, podiatry and rehabilitation services such as therapy services are regularly offered onsite by visiting medical professionals. Additional medical services such as nutritional services, wound care, diabetes care, IV therapy, or home and hospice care are coordinated through our medical team to meet each resident’s individual health needs. These services are often paid by Medicare.

Can a resident be admitted from home?

Yes, when a loved one no longer wants the responsibility of maintaining a household and may need additional help with daily routines, some families seek the safety and convenience of an assisted living community.  The decision to move to assisted living can be difficult.  Many facilities will work with families and loved ones to meet their timelines and ensure a seamless and smooth transition from their previous home.

My mom is in a rehab center, and it’s not safe for her to go back home.  What do I do?

Many facilities offer assisted living and respite care for those who may need assistance with activities of daily living. Their staff should regularly work with area rehabilitation facilities and physicians to help transition those who need to continue their care for ongoing assistance.

What about dietary restrictions?

Many facilities have a dietary manager that can provide healthy and appealing daily menus including fresh and seasonal produce. Be on the lookout for facilities that partner with a local hospital. This can be a great way to ensure that special dietary needs are met. 

Amy Fitchett is the Admissions and Marketing Coordinator at Cedar Manor Assisted Living. Amy has been with Chesapeake Regional since 2008, but transferred to Cedar Manor in 2014. 

Originally published at

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Topics: Health Care 101, Assisted Living & Senior Care

Should I See a Doctor for my Menopause Symptoms

Posted by Dr. Rebecca Ryder on Aug 20, 2018 7:49:00 AM

A patient’s guide to hormone replacement

If you’ve tried at home remedies to manage your menopause symptoms at home, but you’re still suffering, it may be time to see a physician for more options.

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Topics: Women's Health, Menopause, Hormone Replacement

Four Home Remedies for Treating Your Menopause Symptoms

Posted by Dr. Rebecca Ryder on Aug 13, 2018 2:00:00 PM

Hot Flashes Keeping You Up?

Is your air conditioner failing to keep you cool this summer? If you are a woman in your 40s, hot flashes and night sweats may have you wishing for winter.

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Topics: Women's Health, Hormone Replacement, Menopause

What New Moms Should Pack in Their Hospital Bag

Posted by Carol "C.K." Kristich on Aug 6, 2018 9:42:00 AM

Congratulations are in order, but are your bags?

Planning to bring home a new bundle can be a bit surreal, but packing for your hospital stay doesn't have to be. I've cared for new moms and newborns for more than 40 years,  so I've got some experience with what you'll need (and what you won't) while in the hospital.

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Topics: Mom & Baby, Breastfeeding, Women's Health

What is Electrophysiology (EP)?

Posted by Dr. David Adler on Jul 30, 2018 8:09:00 AM

When someone's heart doesn't beat normally, doctors use EP to find out why

If love isn't the reason your heart is racing, it could be an abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia. It's usually not dangerous, but can be scary. We can put your mind – and your heart – at ease. Electrical signals usually travel through the heart in a regular pattern. Heart attacks, aging and high blood pressure may cause scarring of the heart. This may cause the heart to beat in an irregular (uneven) pattern. Extra abnormal electrical pathways found in certain congenital heart defects can also cause arrhythmias.


  • Where an arrhythmia is coming from.
  • How well certain medicines work to treat your arrhythmia.
  • If they should treat a problem by correcting abnormal electrical signals. This procedure is called catheter ablation.
  • If a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) might help you.
  • If you are at risk for heart problems such as fainting or sudden cardiac death due to cardiac arrest (when your heart stops beating).

At a hospital or clinic, doctors and nurses do EP in a room that has special equipment for the tests. You may hear this room called the electrophysiology laboratory, or EP lab. Some call it the catheterization laboratory (cath lab).


  • A nurse will put an IV (intravenous line) in your arm. You’ll get medicine (a sedative) that will help you relax. But you’ll be awake and able to follow instructions during the test.
  • Your nurse will clean and shave the part of your body where the doctor will be working. This is usually in the groin but may be the arm or neck.
  • A local anesthetic will be given to make the area numb. Your doctor will make a needle puncture through your skin and into your blood vessel. A small straw-sized tube called a sheath will be inserted into your artery or vein. The doctor will gently guide several specialized EP catheters into your blood vessel through the sheath and advance them to your heart. A video screen will show the position of the catheters. You may feel some pressure in the area where the sheath was inserted, but you shouldn’t feel any pain.
  • Your doctor will send small electric pulses through the catheters to make your heart beat at different speeds. You may feel your heart beat stronger or faster.
  • Electrical signals produced by your heart will be picked up by the special catheters and recorded. This is called cardiac mapping and allows the doctor to locate where arrhythmias are coming from.
  • Your doctor will remove the catheters and the IV line. Your nurse will put pressure on the puncture site to stop any bleeding.
  • An EP study usually lasts 1 to 4 hours.

If the type and location of the arrhythmia is identified and an appropriate therapy decided, cardiac ablation or insertion of a pacemaker or ICD may be performed during or immediately after the EPS.

Dr. David Adler is a cardiologist on staff at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center

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Topics: Health Care 101, Cardiology

What is Coronary CT Angiography?

Posted by Dr. David Adler on Jul 23, 2018 8:03:00 AM

A better view of the heart leads to better care

Chest pain patients and their doctors now have a new tool in the war against heart disease. Coronary CT angiography enables physicians to see inside heart vessels without actually having to go inside the heart.

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Topics: Cardiology

Preventing Food Poisoning this Summer

Posted by Connie Scott, MSM, RD, CSSD on Jul 16, 2018 11:17:00 AM

Ants aren’t the only pests ready to spoil your picnic

Food poisoning may also be lurking around the corner. Here are a few easy food handling steps you can take to keep your summertime al fresco meals healthy and fun!

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Topics: Digestive Health, Emergency Care, Health Care 101, Lifestyle & Wellness

How to Choose the Right Place to Get a Mammogram

Posted by Dr. Antonio Ruiz on Jul 9, 2018 12:00:00 AM

There are A LOT of options out there

There are a lot of options out there, but choosing where to get your mammogram can often be as important as choosing to get one at all. That’s because your comfort, and the available screening technology, should be top priority. Here’s what I suggest you look for when choosing where to get your yearly mammogram.

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Topics: Health Care 101, Women's Health, Breast Health, Mammography

A Step-by-step Guide to a Mammogram

Posted by Dr. Antonio Ruiz on Jul 2, 2018 7:40:00 AM

A non-invasive X-ray of the breast

The word alone can conjure up anxiety in many women, but a mammogram is simply a non-invasive X-ray of the breast. Knowing what to expect during a screening mammogram may ease your panic just a bit.

While each woman’s experience is different, most women report the test as uncomfortable, but not intolerable. In all, the process takes about 20 minutes.

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Topics: Breast Health, Mammography, Health Care 101, Women's Health

Breastfeeding Your Baby: Birth to 24 Hours Old

Posted by Karla Johnson on Jun 25, 2018 7:42:00 AM

It doesn’t really matter how your baby arrives

Whether your baby arrives vaginally or by C-section breastfeeding your newborn, or at least attempting to, as soon as possible after delivery can be the key to success. It's important to start early, be aware of common issues and learn some tips for success. 

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Topics: Breastfeeding, Mom & Baby